Immigration Policy in Wisconsin
Moderator: Ramón Ortiz
Associate Dean, Madison College
Dr. Ramón Ortiz, Moderator, is Associate Dean in the School of Arts and Sciences at Madison College. He is a lifelong Madisonian who has dedicated his career to helping students of color prepare for college and succeed once there. He worked at the University of Wisconsin as the Assistant Director of the PEOPLE Program, where he supervised 18 permanent staff and 150 instructional staff. He also previously worked as Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor of Multicultural Affairs and Student Success at UW-Whitewater, where he oversaw the Academic Excellence Program, the Upward Bound Program, and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction pre-college summer programs at UW-Whitewater.
Immigrant Affairs Specialist, Dane County
Fabiola Hamdan is a bilingual, bi-cultural Senior Social Worker with the Dane County Department of Human Services and the first Immigration Affairs Specialist in the County. Fabiola came to the United States from Bolivia with her family when she was a teenager so that her mother could get medical treatment. While she was helping to care for her mother and going to school she studied hard and became fluent in English. She then attended UW-Madison to study social work, in which she earned her master's degree in May of 1997. For 18 years, Fabiola has facilitated the Darbo Worthington Joining Forces for Families team and in 1999 helped to found LaSup, a Latino Support Group. She also founded EI Dia de los Niños (The Day of the Children) and cofounded WeCare, a local housing program. She is a member of the City of Madison Police and Fire Commission and served on the Dane County Equal Opportunities Commission.
Founder, Unidos por un Futoro Mejor
Norys Piña is one of the most active Latina advocates in the Fox Valley. She founded Unidos por un Futoro Mejor (United for a Better Future) to work for systemic change in the community, state, and nation. Norys advocated for driver’s cards for undocumented immigrants and quickly drew together funding and people to fill three buses to participate in a statewide “A Day Without Latinos” demonstration at the state capitol last year. She has been active in the faith community ESTHER, especially in ESTHER’s Latino Simulations and Voices of Hope theatre productions. Most recently, Norys has organized a community-wide Latino Voter Engagement campaign. For her efforts, ESTHER honored her with their 2016 Community Award.